Airhawk 2 : Medium Cruiser Comfort Seating System
I will start the review with the Airhawk 2 seating system. I bought this as a test as the company claim it can give you thousands of miles of comfort when riding and seeing as we were set to travel around 2,000 miles I thought it would be a good idea. The stock seats on the SV650S (2003 onwards) are solid and really uncomfortable to sit on. I attempted to solve this problem by getting gel pad inserts. This did make a difference but still did not give me the longevity of comfort that I was after.
The Airhawk works by filling the device with air by blowing into a small valve. The seat then attaches to your existing motorcycle seat with the adjustable straps provided. You then adjust the amount of air by opening the valve. There should be enough air to keep you about 1cm above the original seat level, but you should also notice the air moving about the Airhawk as you lean. It can take a bit of fiddling to get the pressure right, but the long lasting effect is amazing. For the entire trip I was comfortable, until the last stretch home. This was only because I tried fiddling with the air pressure again rather than leaving it as it was. One annoying factor is that if the straps unclip or you need to remove the Airhawk you must remove your original motorcycle seat to recover the straps to reattach it (a pain on a 2008 pointy SV with 2 side panels to remove plus the 2 bolts attaching the seat). Also, remember it is an air system so make sure you do not put the ratchet straps over it when securing the bike to a ferry for crossing the channel!
But in conclusion it is a fantastic seat and since the trip I have used it for normal ride outs as my gel seat just seems rock solid in comparison. It works better when wearing leather rather than jeans (can't vouch for textiles yet) and the only main issues with it are that it can be fiddly to get the air level just right for your build and secondly, the hassle it can cause some riders (depending on their bike) to reattach to the main motorcycle seat.
MCBlogSpot Rating: 8/10
Hi Gear Atom 3 - 3 Berth Tent
[Image from: http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk]
Only other thing I can think to review from what we used is the 3 person tent that we took with us. This Hi Gear Atom 3 tent was purchased from Go Outdoors for the reduced price of £49.99. It has ample room in the porch for storage, a side door and a front door and has plenty of sleeping space. Also get a tent one person larger than how many are using it (in this case only us two used it).
It packs up pretty small and is easy to transport (53x18x18cm and less than 5kg). However, there is a bit of a gap around the porch area which can be a problem if it rains and all your stuff is stored in there. Also, we did notice water dripping from the roof in the porch area although we do not think it rained, it may have been dew, but nevertheless we do not think that should happen inside a tent anyway.
On the whole, good for the money, decent space, packs up small but has a few minor hiccups.
MCBlogSpot Rating: 7/10
If you would like a review on any of the other stuff we used, such as clothing or any of the things mentioned on what we brought then please do let me know and I will write a new review for each item.
[Next Up: The Trip Day by Day, including routes, maps and pictures!]